(HealthDay News) – The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has introduced a new regulation to provide a uniform standard definition for the term “gluten-free” for voluntary food labeling.
Noting that up to three million Americans have celiac disease and need to eat a gluten-free diet, the new FDA definition will standardize the meaning of “gluten-free” claims across the food industry and will help people with celiac disease maintain a gluten-free diet.
In order to use the term gluten-free on a food label, the food must meet all of the definition requirements, including containing less than 20 parts per million of gluten. Foods with the claims “no gluten,” “free of gluten,” and “without gluten” will all be required to meet the definition of “gluten-free.” Food manufacturers have one year after publication of the rule to comply with the new requirements.
“We encourage the food industry to come into compliance with the new definition as soon as possible and help us make it as easy as possible for people with celiac disease to identify foods that meet the federal definition of ‘gluten-free,'” Michael R. Taylor, the FDA’s deputy commissioner for foods and veterinary medicine, said in a statement.